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      GameDev.net and CRC Press have teamed up to bring a free ebook of content curated from top titles published by CRC Press. The freebook, Practices of Game Design & Indie Game Marketing, includes chapters from The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, and An Architectural Approach to Level Design. The GameDev.net FreeBook is relevant to game designers, developers, and those interested in learning more about the challenges in game development. We know game development can be a tough discipline and business, so we picked several chapters from CRC Press titles that we thought would be of interest to you, the GameDev.net audience, in your journey to design, develop, and market your next game. The free ebook is available through CRC Press by clicking here. The Curated Books The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, Second Edition, by Jesse Schell Presents 100+ sets of questions, or different lenses, for viewing a game’s design, encompassing diverse fields such as psychology, architecture, music, film, software engineering, theme park design, mathematics, anthropology, and more. Written by one of the world's top game designers, this book describes the deepest and most fundamental principles of game design, demonstrating how tactics used in board, card, and athletic games also work in video games. It provides practical instruction on creating world-class games that will be played again and again. View it here. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, by Joel Dreskin Marketing is an essential but too frequently overlooked or minimized component of the release plan for indie games. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing provides you with the tools needed to build visibility and sell your indie games. With special focus on those developers with small budgets and limited staff and resources, this book is packed with tangible recommendations and techniques that you can put to use immediately. As a seasoned professional of the indie game arena, author Joel Dreskin gives you insight into practical, real-world experiences of marketing numerous successful games and also provides stories of the failures. View it here. An Architectural Approach to Level Design This is one of the first books to integrate architectural and spatial design theory with the field of level design. The book presents architectural techniques and theories for level designers to use in their own work. It connects architecture and level design in different ways that address the practical elements of how designers construct space and the experiential elements of how and why humans interact with this space. Throughout the text, readers learn skills for spatial layout, evoking emotion through gamespaces, and creating better levels through architectural theory. View it here. Learn more and download the ebook by clicking here. Did you know? GameDev.net and CRC Press also recently teamed up to bring GDNet+ Members up to a 20% discount on all CRC Press books. Learn more about this and other benefits here.
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Tim Lawton

XNA vs C++ WinSock2

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Hey there,

I've recently been given a university assignment to create a small online game, now I haven't done any network programming before but I have been researching into it but I can't make a decision if I should use XNA or C++ and use the WinSock2 libraries, also DirectPlay is an option, but with it not being supported since 2004 I don't think it would be a good idea.

So I have 6 weeks to go from knowing what a socket is to create a small Server-Client or Peer-to-Peer game, what would you guys recommend? Could you point me to any decent tutorials which combine Game Development with Network Programming? What kind of steps did you guys take in my position?

any advice is welcome as I'm completely new at this.

Thanks!
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If you want C++, try using an existing library like RakNet or Enet.

Last I checked XNA, the networking part only worked on Xbox for Gold customers, and only in development mode on Windows.
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Whats RakNet and Enet like compared to WinSock2 for creating a simple game? is it alot more supported, will I be able to find alot more tutorials online?
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Enet doesn't have many tutorials, RakNet has a few tutorials.

The problem with WinSock is that 90% of the tutorials are pretty bad -- written for old versions of Windows, written by people who are just starting out and don't know the system, written in the same-old "here's how to send HELLO and here's how to receive it" style that helps nobody get a real application working.

If you need a working game, then you're going to have a lot of different problems to solve, and solving all the packet format and data marshaling problems that E-net or RakNet already solve for you isn't going to make it go any faster.
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If you're not intending on moving large scale, Python offers a quick platform independent solution. it has its pitfalls, but it may be suited for what you're doing. The socket module offers all the functionality you need, alongside many marshalling / serialising libraries.
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[url="http://www.boost.org/libs/asio/"]Boost.Asio[/url] has a pretty friendly tutorial: [url="http://www.boost.org/doc/libs/release/doc/html/boost_asio/tutorial.html"]http://www.boost.org...o/tutorial.html[/url]

See also "Networking and Multiplayer FAQ": http://www.gamedev.net/index.php?app=forums&module=forums&section=rules&f=15 Edited by Matt-D
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